Ben Roethlisberger Still Making Winning Throws

There were many who were prepping the obituary for Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger just two weeks ago after he threw a career-worst five interceptions against the Jaguars, two of which ended up being returned for touchdowns.

An extensive number of people were not simply saying that he no longer had the skill to play anymore; they were accusing him of no longer having it in him to play the game, saying that he was already mentally retired. No doubt there are many who will continue to believe that no matter what happens from this point on.

But he has clearly looked much better and more composed over the course of the past two weeks than he had prior. And that has also come with an offensive game plan that takes some of the focus and responsibility off of him and more onto the ground game. He has only attempted 49 passes the past two weeks, while they have run the ball about 70 times.

Of course, they have been able to run the ball because running the ball has been working, and they have been able to get and hold onto leads. Had that not been the case, it goes without saying that Roethlisberger would have been throwing the ball more, as he did 55 times against the Jaguars.

Yesterday, he did only complete 14 of his 24 pass attempts, which many of those incompletions coming late, but he did throw for 224 yards, averaging a quite healthy and respectable 9.3 yards per throw. He is now averaging over seven yards per pass attempt on the season, when it had been closer to just six yards just two game ago.

Most importantly, he has thrown three touchdowns over the course of the past two games, including two yesterday in the first half, two one interception, and that was on a ball that should have been completed, had it not been for Antonio Brown errantly stopping his route.

He has gotten his quarterback rating back up north of 80, at least, having now thrown nine touchdowns on the season to eight interceptions, completing approximately 62 percent of his passes and averaging, as mentioned early, 7.2 yards per attempt.

There is certainly work to do in order to get him to play more consistently on a play-to-play basis, but as he showed once again yesterday, he still has the capability of making some elite passes that few others in the game would be able to.

I still don’t really know what the Roethlisberger of 2017 has to offer, at the end of the day. He hasn’t really been at his best for a full game yet this year, but will he ever be? Perhaps a showdown with a quarterback like Matthew Stafford next week is something that he can step up for.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Michael James

    Easily his best game so far. He should have had four TDs if not for that McDonald drop and Jackson’s blatant DPI on Brown in the endzone.

  • Charles Mullins

    I was not a quarterback. I was not a receiver. His ball looks miles better to me now than it did at the beginning of the season. Some of that is probably the O line playing better, but he is hitting people now instead of sailing it over their heads.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I said it before but it bears repeating… the schedule is about to open up wide for Ben. Tons of home and night games. And multiple dome games. Yes, Ben’s numbers are about to take off starting this week and the week after the Bye. Historically, he has LOVED playing in both Detroit and especially, Indy.

  • francesco

    The true test will be if Ben can win it in the 4th quarter with a touchdown when down by 6 and inside the two minute warning.That is the standard.

  • Alan Tman

    Ben is not playing much better. It is just now above the line. What he’s doing now is top twenty. He has yet to play to his potential. 1 for 6 in the red zone is not going to get the job done most days. Like Darth Blount said hopefully Ben can get it figured out with in the domes. These games have shown what kind of defense we have if they are not on the field for 40 minutes, and have a lead. On pace for over 50 sacks and 16 picks. It will be even better if the offense gives them 30 or more points. The 30 million dollar defense has outplayed the 100 million dollar offense.

  • Steeler Nation!

    The standard is winning. You don’t have to come from behind to do it, if you don’t stink it up for 3 quarters plus. And very few in history have done it better than Ben.

  • Steeler Nation!

    Had 1 TD dropped and another obvious PI that wasn’t called that would have been a TD. Last weeks INT was on Brown, and may have been another TD if he continues his route. You can take your 19 other QBs and pile up some fantasy stats or whatever you’re after. I’ll take the gunslinger with one of the highest win %s in history.

  • pcantidote

    unless I am mistaken he has only ever played in Detroit twice. Once where he played horrible in the SB, and once in 09 where we really didn’t have a good game against a really bad team.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Yeah, for some reason when I saw his stats, I thought they were ALL in Detroit. But he’s played them 3 times but twice in Pittsburgh. That game you mention in 2009 though, he did have a 77% comp and 277 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 INT.

    It’s his overall stats vs Detroit, not including those SB ones, where he has the 779 yards and 8 total TD’s and 3 INT’s.

  • steelmann58

    Ben looked good in the first half throwing the ball with conifendce

  • Alan Tman

    Yeah the best defense of the decade had nothing to do with that winning percentage? How many 13-10 games were there, and how many did the defense score on their own and win. You can have the gunslinger. I’ll take the guy handing off 35 times a game. Oh and you mentioned the route AB stopped on but not the two tipped balls he caught and took to the house for him.

  • Brenton deed

    I suspect he was trying too hard and trying to do too much given everyone’s (including his own) expectations for this offense.

  • Brenton deed

    In the first SB (Seahawks) he had a terrible rating yet I remember him extending a play as only Ben can and getting a completion at about the 1yard line that led to (the first?) TD (a QB rush).
    So he played a vital part in that win despite a terrible rating. Ratings and stats aren’t everything. Ben’s doing fine and is on course to peak in January and February.

  • Steeler Nation!

    As he always does! He had a rough SB that year, but he was on fire the entire playoffs-Bengals, Colts, Broncos. We don’t make the SB that year without his excellent play in those games. And MVP Hines dropped a TD in the SB, making that QB rating look worse!

  • Steeler Nation!

    And how many times over the last 5 years has our defense been terrible? A lot! We were winning games largely on his arm and a run game. Name your 20 QBs that are playing better, to further prove your craziness.

  • Alan Tman

    You know I guessed and what is his QBR 20th. So now who’s crazy? Lol

  • Alan Tman

    When the QB is not carrying the team that means that someone else is. Here that would be the defense.

  • Alan Tman

    So instead of 25 it would have 35? Give me a break!! You guys are just like him. Blame everyone else. He blamed the coaches for not scoring in the red zone right before the half, but didn’t say anything about the other four times. Hines did win MVP that game, and Randle El had a better game at QB. Don’t be mad because like you tell the truth about every other player. I tell the truth about Ben. Parcells said you are what your record says you are, so no Ben is not playing up to his potential. That means that I think he can play better, and so should you!!!

  • Steeler Nation!

    Oh so it’s all or nothing? Whatever dude. You’re just a Ben hater. You’ll bitch more about our next 5 QBs I’m sure.

  • Steeler Nation!

    You are. If you’d take 20 QBs over him. He’ll get hot in the 2nd half. He always does. But you’ll credit everyone but him anyway.

  • Steeler Nation!

    He can and he will play better. Unlike you, I’m not a knee jerk reactionist that says “he sucks”, “he’s done” etc. He has helped us reach 3 Super Bowls and 5 AFCCGs. Besides Bradshaw, no one in our history comes close. And we had some hellacious defenses in the 90s. So it is has NEVER been all about 1 person or 1 unit. It is a complex unit that apparently you cannot understand.

  • Alan Tman

    Where did you see me say he’s sucks or he’s done?

  • Alan Tman

    OK who in the NFL has the weapons and Offensive line that we do?

  • Alan Tman

    Like you can criticize other players he’s not above criticism. He doesn’t get a life time achievement award. He’s not playing at an acceptable level over this year. He didn’t really last year either. We blamed it on players being out but now we know that just wasn’t the case. I would be glad if he turns it up, and we score 30 points a game, but that’s just not the case. You can defend his play, and make excuses for him all you want, but facts are the facts.

  • Steeler Nation!

    I’ve been critical of him in the past too. He played poorly vs Jacksonville, as did almost the entire team. 5 INTs is unacceptable, even if 2 of them weren’t on him. He threw 2 TDs vs Cincy, but it should have been 4 (1 drop by Mc, 1 PI vs AB not called). You won’t find that in the stats, but those are plays he made that you apparently can’t see. I did say he can play better and will play better-acknowledging he hasn’t been great. He-and the team-always do get better as the season rolls along. But I’m sure you won’t give him a lick of credit.

  • Dan

    He did exactly that last Christmas against the Ravens. He has nothing to prove.

  • Dan

    The Falcons.

  • Alan Tman

    Not as good as offensive line, but ok. One team Matt Ryan was MVP with those weapons last year.

  • francesco

    And nothing since and few before.